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地図は普通、北を上にして掛かれる。 (From line 7: https://www.docdroid.net/847v2dg/img-20170413-0001-new.pdf.html)

=> "The map is normal, it can hang with the north attached to the top."

I feel very unsure about this one since there is no copula and no connector (like for example 地図は普通), but I can't make sense of it otherwise. I'm also not sure whether the potential form expresses an ability here or makes an objective statement (I think there was something about that with potential form, please correct me if I'm wrong, I also don't feel like I understood it).

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Is there a typo here? Shouldn't 掛かる be 掛けられる ? If so, it's a passive, not a potential. Try analysing the sentence without 普通 .

地図は、 北を上にして掛けられる means "Maps are hung with North at the top".

Then restore the 普通:

地図は普通、 北を上にして掛けられる means "Maps are usually hung with North at the top".

One problem is that we tend to assume that the 、 punctuation mark is like an English comma, marking off a grammatically distinct section of a sentence. So when we come to one we stop to look at the meaning of what precedes it. That's not what it does: it's best to think of it as simply indicating a point in the sentence where if you were reading it aloud you might pause to breathe. I think what's happened here is that you've come to a comma so stopped to make an interim translation of the first part of the sentence as "the map is usual or ordinary" and then gone on to deal with rest of the sentence, not realising that 普通 is in fact an adverb meaning "usually", "ordinarily" and that this is a general statement about the way maps are hung.

  • +1 For your paragraph about the comma. Could you merge your two answers? – 永劫回帰 Apr 13 '17 at 19:37
  • Thanks! I also hadn't realized 普通 can be an adverb ^^ that helped a lot! :) – Narktor Apr 14 '17 at 8:22
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Sorry, I should have looked at the text before replying. I've done so now, and see that the verb is written in kana: かかれる. I think your 掛かれる is an artefact of predictive texting. The verb is actually the passive of [描]{か}く, "draw", and the sentence means "Maps are usually drawn with North at the top".

  • according to jisho.org/word/%E6%8E%9B%E3%81%8B%E3%82%8B the potential of 掛かる is 掛かれる. My textbook usually uses the kanji for 書く, that's why I went with 掛かる because the kanji of that one wasn't introduced and it seemed to make sense. I'll look through the rest of your answer later, its pretty late over here already ^^ thanks! :) – Narktor Apr 13 '17 at 22:39
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    @Narktor In Japanese grammar, inanimate subjects (地図 etc) can't be combined with potential verbs. So that shouldn't be the case. – user4092 Apr 13 '17 at 22:48
  • Ahh thanks! yeah, then it can only be 書く i guess. I only wonder why the kanji didnt appear Oo Maybe a typo. – Narktor Apr 13 '17 at 22:50
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    @Narktor The better kanji in this context is 描く, but it's also read えがく. The writer may have left it in hiragana to avoid confusion (the original article doesn't likely to have furigana as in the textbook). – broccoli forest Apr 14 '17 at 0:29
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    ^ Ellett, 地図は普通、北を上にして[掛]{か}かれる is ungrammatical. It should be 地図は普通、北を上にして[描]{か}かれる. – Chocolate Apr 14 '17 at 5:51

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